BUFFALO, N.Y. – Traffic deaths spiked in 2016 after years of steady decline, and safety experts have been scrambling to find out why. One new study links the lack of driving safety laws to the surging number of accidents.
The new report, conducted by Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety, ranked the traffic laws around the country. Some of the laws it analyzed included:
Seat belt laws
Impaired driving laws
Booster seat laws
Teen driving laws
Many of the states the report evaluated had low scores on their report cards, and the safety advocates who developed the study said many motorists and pedestrians are needlessly getting injured or killed on U.S. roadways even though there are certain measures that can be taken to prevent traffic accidents.
The research group identified nearly 400 state laws that could help improve traffic safety, including regulations on strict seat belt use, graduated driver licensing for teens, enforcement of distracted driving laws, and motorcycle helmet use, among others.
Traffic deaths were up by over seven percent in 2015, the largest spike in 50 years. Preliminary figures don’t bode well for 2016, either. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2016 may have experienced another record-breaking increase in traffic deaths.
Some of the states with the worst scores included:
Meanwhile, Rhode Island received the best scores. The state has at least a dozen laws that help protect drivers, passengers and pedestrians from potential car crashes.
ACCIDENTS IN NEW YORK
In New York State, there are several laws in place to help reduce the risk of a motor vehicle crash, but the state did not make the top five, the report found. Instead, the Empire State received a “Yellow Rating,” which indicates improvement is needed, and there may be gaps in the recommended optimal safety laws.
Drivers in New York State know this all too well. Recent polls have found that at least 60 percent of New York drivers have admitted to driving distracted in the past six months. Another 40 percent have admitted to speeding.
These bad habits add up, and a Buffalo car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says the majority of car crashes now involve a driver who was either distracted or speeding, or in some cases, both.
If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, the Buffalo car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes can help you get the best result possible. Their team of trial attorneys has helped their clients recover over $2-billion in settlements and verdicts, and they’ve been trusted by Western New Yorkers for over 50 years.
A Buffalo car accident attorney can investigate your claim, and help determine what factors were at play. In some cases, this evidence can maximize your compensation. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car crash, call Cellino & Barnes today for a free case evaluation.
NEW YORK – If you’re looking for diversity, the Big Apple has it. People from every corner of the globe flock to New York City, and they’re proud to call it home. We also boast a wide range of cuisines, art and architecture – and if you want to experience New York’s diverse culture, you have to use city streets. Unfortunately, the condition of our roads is just as diverse as the city itself.
A new report form the Independent Budget Office found that in many areas of the city, streets are falling apart, and some places have it worse than others.
The report used data and ratings from a recent Department of Transportation assessment, and found that the streets in Brooklyn are some of the newest and best streets in the five boroughs – roughly 75 percent of the roadways are in “Good” condition.
Manhattan and Staten Island, however, are in rougher shape. Only 66 percent and 59 percent of the streets were in good condition, respectively.
The report not only looked at the boroughs; it also analyzed the highest and lowest rated streets by neighborhood. With just 28 percent of its roads in “Good” condition, Kew Gardens in Queens has more streets in shambles than any other section of the city, the data found.
The neighborhoods with the best ratings included:
Fort Greene (89.3 percent good)
Starrett City (86.5 percent good)
Williamsburg (86.3 percent good)
Alongside Kew Gardens, here are some neighborhoods with the worst ratings:
Parkchester (30.3 percent good)
Seagate-Coney Island (35 percent good)
Upper East Side-Carnegie Hall (44.6 percent good)
Why it Matters
Streets and roads in good condition not only take less of a toll on vehicles; they can also help prevent a car crash.
A New York car accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes says an experienced lawyer doesn’t just look at the police report: they will also analyze the road conditions, traffic signals, signage, and other factors that may have contributed to a crash.
A deep pot hole could alter the path of a car, and faded striping can make important street markers difficult for the average driver to see.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, count on a team you know will be thorough with your claim. A New York car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes will gather every possible piece of evidence that can help maximize the value of your case. For a free consultation, call one of their New York car accident attorneys today:
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The technology in the palm of your hands can do almost anything. We’re talking about smartphones. Whatever you want to do, whatever tool you need, there’s probably an app for that – unless you want your phone to prevent a car crash. One lawsuit now accuses a major phone maker of having the technology to prevent drivers from texting and driving, but the smartphone company hasn’t used it.
The idea is simple: take the phone away from the driver. Unfortunately, some drivers just can’t put the phone down. It’s these drivers that cause an estimated 1.6 million car wrecks every year, injuring nearly 330,000 people. But, if they’re locked-out of their phones, they can’t text, and they’re likely to be a safer driver.
It’s now estimated that roughly 16 people are killed on U.S. roads every day as a result of texting and driving, but many safety advocates believe those deaths could be prevented using technology the phone companies already have.
Some drivers are now calling for a “lockout” feature that would shut-down a smartphone while its owner is in the driver’s seat. The feature already exists, one person alleges. As evidence, his lawsuit points to a patent that Apple filed in 2008, and received in 2014.
The patent, titled “Driver Handheld Computer Lockout Device,” describes, in detail, a way to disable handheld devices by using sensors to determine when a person is at the wheel. The problem? It hasn’t been installed in consumer electronics.
Text messaging is now banned for all drivers in 46 states, and many municipalities have enacted their own bans, which are often more stringent than state laws.
Unfortunately, making texting and driving illegal hasn’t improved safety. Distracted driving is now a bigger problem than impaired driving – it causes more crashes and claims more lives each year. A Rochester car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says the relationship people have a strong relationship with their phones, and it’s too easy to keep the phone hidden from law enforcement officers.
Implanting a lockout system could be a viable solution to the problem, but it would have to be mandatory.
When Drivers Put Technology Above the Law
Each day, drivers are ticketed for texting behind the wheel of a car. That’s a good scenario in comparison to others who aren’t caught texting and driving and, instead, cause a car wreck. In these situations, the texting driver can get seriously injured or killed. Making matters worse, these distractions can also hurt innocent people who are good drivers, struck by an irresponsible party.
If you believe that you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, there are several ways a Rochester car accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes can help. Our lawyers have years of experience gathering evidence against irresponsible drivers. This evidence could include driving records, phone records, eye-witness statements, or video evidence that could be available.
An injury can be devastating, but you don’t have to fight the insurance companies alone. The Rochester car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes have helped many clients get the best results possible from their claims. If you’ve been in a car crash, call the firm that has been trusted in New York for over 50 years.
NEW YORK – Stress is a dangerous reaction. It can make you gain weight, it can keep you up at night, and it can even increase your risk of heart disease. Now, researchers say you can add another risk to that list: stress can cause car crashes.
According to a new study, people who have more work stress than others are more likely to have something bad happen on their way home from the office.
Although commute times differ on location, the average working American is in their car an average of 26 minutes, each way, per day. That’s a lot of time behind the wheel!
Researchers found that those either going to work or coming home from work were also more likely to be thinking about work – distracting them from the task at hand: driving. The more work stresses you out, the more you think about it, and according to researchers, those distractions could make you a dangerous driver.
However, stress comes in many forms. Some stresses cause drivers to take more risks.
The top cause of stress-related crashes was caused by difficulty balancing work and family life, the study found.
Those struggling to find a work-life balance were more likely to be on the phone or take risks like speeding, tailgating, or other dangerous maneuvers.
Having a bad boss was also found to be a bad trigger. Those who said they hated their boss were found to be risky on the road.
If You’re Injured By a Dangerous Driver
Stress can certainly make people do some crazy things – especially on the road. Unfortunately, a stressed-out driver can also be responsible for a person’s injuries if they aren’t careful on the road.
Each year, millions of Americans are injured by drivers who aren’t focusing on the road. If you believe you or a loved one has been a victim of a distracted driver or road rage, the Queens car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes can help.
A Queens car accident attorney can obtain records and evidence that can be useful in court. This ensures that victims and their families get the best result possible from a claim.
If you’ve recently been in a car crash, trust the firm that has stood-up for New Yorkers for over 50 years. Call a Queens car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes today for a free case evaluation.
NEW YORK – You’ve probably seen it before: cars whizzing by, dangerously close to pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists.
It’s a problem that plagues cities across America, and in New York, it’s a serious issue.
New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, recently ruled that the Big Apple and other towns and cities can be found liable for a person’s injuries if an accident occurred on a street with a history of reckless driving and traffic accidents.
The judgment was made in response to a 2004 accident on Gerritsen Avenue in Brooklyn, where a driver was determined to be traveling at over 50 miles per hour in a 30 mph zone. According to court documents, that driver struck a 12-year-old boy who was riding his bicycle.
At a trial, a jury found the city was, in part, responsible for the crash. The city appealed the ruling, which brought the case in front of the seven judges who determined the city does bear responsibility for certain accidents.
A Brooklyn car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says poor road design can be a key piece of evidence that can help victims maximize their claim compensation.
“There are some streets that are like racetracks for some drivers and these areas are often studied by transportation officials in Brooklyn,” car accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “Even though traffic studies recognize some streets as problematic areas, very little is done to change them and make them safer.”
Traffic-calming measures are being installed on many streets in America to reduce instances of speeding drivers, but not all roads have these measures implemented.
In the accident on Gerritsen Avenue, the Department of Transportation studied several intersections. According to court documents, the DOT told police that there was a “speeding problem” after each study, but there was little-to-no follow-up.
Potential traffic-calming measures like narrow lanes or raised sidewalks were not even considered, the justices noted:
“It was known among traffic engineers that straight, wide roads with little interference from pedestrians and other vehicles, such as Gerritsen Avenue, encourage speeding because drivers feel more comfortable on roadways with those characteristics. He testified that traffic calming measures deter speeding because they cause drivers to be more cautious, and that such measures are known to reduce the overall speed on roadways.”
The decision puts more pressure on transportation officials to construct safer infrastructure. Brooklyn car accident lawyers say the ruling could also spark more traffic studies around the city and across the state that can determine whether traffic-calming infrastructure should be implemented.
Following the Gerritsen Ave. crash, the DOT converted the high-speed avenue from four lanes to three lanes and installed a painted median in 2005. There were more plans to improve Gerritsen Avenue safety in 2009, but the plans were scrapped after public opposition.
Since 2007, four people have been killed in car crashes on Gerritsen and many more have been injured.
If you or a loved one has been injured, and you suspect poor street design may have played a role, contact the Brooklyn car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes today for a free consultation.
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – The numbers are in and safe street advocates say there are fewer drunk drivers on the road but don’t let the statistics fool you: there’s still a lot of work to be done to accomplish the goal of zero drunk driving deaths.
According to a newly released study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, motorists report being more responsible behind the wheel: the percentage of those who reported driving drunk in 2014 hit the lowest point since 2001, but nearly 30 million people are still boozing and getting in the driver’s seat.
That’s roughly 11 percent of drivers 16 and older admitting to driving drunk within the past year. A Long Island car accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes said every time an intoxicated person gets behind the wheel, they’re rolling the dice.
“Drunk driving is one of the riskiest, and deadliest, factors in car crashes on Long Island,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Although the stats might say there are a fewer drunk drivers today, it remains one of the top causes of traffic fatalities on the road today.”
Long Island car accident attorneys say ‘progress’ is difficult to measure. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-fueled crashes in 2015. That’s over 300 more deaths than 2014; even though the rate of drunk driving crashes is the same because drivers traveled more in 2015.
Many safety advocates argue the ‘progress’ made is not nearly enough, and some lobbying organizations are urging states to adopt more stringent laws, like instituting ignition interlock devices and more programs that could recognize and keep drunk drivers off the road.
In some states, a court can order first-time offenders to install ignition interlock devices in their car. These devices force a driver to blow into a straw, which measures his or her blood-alcohol level (BAC). If the driver’s BAC is greater than 0.025, the vehicle won’t start.
In Connecticut, officials reported ignition interlock devices prevented more than 58,000 engine starts over the past year. The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles reports a little more than 7,000 people had the device in their vehicles.
“There are many ways to tackle drunk drivers but it really starts with taking a good look at yourself,” Cellino said. “If you’ve been drinking, be responsible and don’t get behind the wheel. We’ve seen too many cases where someone has been unnecessarily hurt or killed because someone made an irresponsible choice after a few drinks.”
There are many studies in addition to the SAMHSA report that show drunk driving is declining due to education campaigns, strict new laws and the availability of ride-sharing services. However, drugged driving is a different beast.
Recent polls have suggested that many motorists continue to use prescription drugs, some of which can mirror the effects of alcohol. Although they’re also subject to DWIs, these crimes can be challenging to prove in court.
New polls have also suggested that drugged driving is on the increase, and more drivers admit to driving under the influence of recreational or prescription drugs today compared to polls from 2007.
In any case, a solid legal team could gather the evidence you need to get the best result possible from an injury claim. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash and you suspect drugs or alcohol was a factor, contact the law firm that has been trusted for over 50 years.
As one of the largest personal injury firms in the nation, Cellino & Barnes has the network and resources to hire the expert witnesses and doctors who can help maximize your claim. Call an experienced Long Island car accident lawyer today for a free consultation.
NEW YORK – Every kind of injury has the potential to be severe, but some of the most serious accidents result in traumatic brain injuries.
A traumatic brain injury is also known as TBI. Basically, it’s a blow to the head that causes your brain to function abnormally. Even the slightest injury can have a massive impact on your body and health.
TBIs can occur in any type of accident, but the Queens car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say it’s a very common injury when vehicles collide.
“More than half of all reported brain injuries happen in car accidents,” Queens car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “Even minor crashes can result in severe brain injuries, and sometimes the symptoms don’t manifest for days or weeks.”
Head trauma occurs when a person’s skull hits an object like a steering wheel, head rest, windshield, or a window. What makes TBIs particularly dangerous is that they may not be an open wound or other indication that a person is injured.
In many car accidents, just the force of a collision can cause a person’s brain to strike their skull. It’s physics: an object in motion (your brain) stays in motion until the vehicle suddenly stops in a crash. A Queens car accident attorney says in these cases, there may not be any physical signs that a person has been injured but there are ways to find out.
“When we handle a person’s claim, we gather every piece of evidence that can help them get the best result possible,” Cellino said. “Being such a large firm, we have the resources to get top medical experts and the latest information on brain injuries so that we can not only make sure our client maximizes their settlement verdict; but make sure they get the treatments they need.”
Although a TBI may seem minor at first, brain injuries and spinal cord injuries are nothing to take lightly. These can often be debilitating and severely affect a person’s way of life. Some symptoms may include constant or recurring headaches, unusual fatigue, changes in vision, dizziness, memory loss, or feelings of depression.
If you or a loved one have recently been in a car crash, you may want to call or visit one of the many Cellino & Barnes offices across the New York Metro Area. An experienced Queens car accident attorney can handle your case from start to finish, and make sure that your rights are protected.
Their consultations are free, and you won’t need to pay a fee unless they win your case. Contact a Queens car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes today for a free consultation.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – It was just before dusk on Sunday afternoon. I was walking around the house when something caught my eye outside, across the street in the snowy trees.
I stopped what I was doing and peered out the window through the snow flurry to try to figure out who – or what – was rustling around in the woods. By the time I realized what it was, he jumped out of the trees onto the busy street.
Screeching tires, a blaring car horn and the crunching of metal is all I heard next.
It’s that time of year again; and I’m not just talking about the holidays. It’s deer season; and I don’t mean hunting.
In my story, it was nearly the worst-case scenario: the deer escaped the crash and Prancer made it safely across the street to my apple tree in the back yard. The two drivers that nearly struck the 6-point buck scraped each other’s vehicles. Luckily, the collision was a minor sideswipe and neither driver was hurt but a Buffalo car accident attorney at Cellino & Barnes says animals are linked to hundreds of deer-car crashes each winter.
“Deer are very common this time of year in Buffalo,” car accident lawyer Steve Barnes said. “When they suddenly move into the roadway, a driver may not expect it and they often swerve to avoid hitting the animal but this action often causes an even worse collision.”
Although the data is still being collected for the fall and winter of 2016, there’s evidence to suggest this will be a bad winter for drivers and deer. According to new statistics from State Farm, New Yorkers have a 1 in 161 chance of hitting a deer and filing a claim. Unfortunately, with millions of motorists, and the majority of the population living downstate (where there are fewer deer), these statistics may be skewed for upstate and Western New York drivers.
Pennsylvania’s data may be a more reasonable comparison for non-city drivers. In the Keystone State, 1 in every 67 motorists will file a claim after hitting a deer – third highest chance in the nation.
The likelihood of running into Bambi on the roadway more than doubles in the last three months of the year: October, November and December during the animal’s mating season. Add snowfall to the mix and it makes this time of year extremely dangerous.
Not only are deer searching for a mate this time of year – they’re also looking for food buried under the snow, so they’re constantly on the move.
“All the factors are lined-up this time of year,” Barnes said. “The roads are icy; it gets darker earlier; and deer can jump out into the road at any second. Drivers must be alert at all times.”
In rural areas, deer collisions may account for nearly half of all motor vehicle accidents this time of year. Buffalo car accident attorneys say it is important for drivers to maintain control of their vehicles at all costs: the last thing anyone wants is to cause a crash with another vehicle or a pedestrian.
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, the Buffalo car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes can help you get the best result possible from your claim. Contact an experienced attorney in Buffalo today for a free consultation.
NEW YORK – A Brooklyn man was struck and dragged under the wheels of a tractor-trailer Thursday morning, authorities said as they investigate another deadly accident in Williamsburg.
Police, witnesses and the victim’s family told DNAinfo Moshe Yide Weiner, 21, was walking on Kent Avenue near South 10th Street when he was hit by a truck on Kent Avenue at around 11:10 a.m.
Nearby construction workers witnessed the accident and some claimed they recognized Moshe Yide Weiner, saying he frequently made deliveries to the construction site.
An ambulance rushed the man to nearby Beth Israel Hospital but police said Moshe Yide Weiner later died from his injuries.
A Brooklyn truck accident lawyer says drivers of tractor-trailers must constantly be alert when driving in New York City but there are many more factors that should be analyzed when a person is struck by a large vehicle – including possible problems with the roadway itself.
Each year, thousands of New Yorkers are injured or killed in truck crashes that are traced back to driver error. An extensive legal investigation can analyze a trucker’s driving record and the number of hours the he has spent working; both outside the truck and while behind the wheel.
Although driving records can be important in any investigation, an experienced attorney can find other pieces of evidence that could help a victim’s family maximize their compensation when filing a claim. A thorough legal investigation will look at other factors, including:
Truck maintenance records
Dashcam video from the truck itself or other drivers in the area
Overall road safety
This year has been a dangerous year for pedestrians in all of New York’s boroughs. Dozens of other people have been struck by tractor-trailers on Brooklyn streets this year and many victims have been killed – or they’ve suffered life-altering injuries as a result. In many cases, victims and their families can receive compensation for their injury or loss. This compensation can help cover the following costs:
Loss of protection or care
Expenses from hospitalization
Loss of companionship
Loss of financial support from the victim
Pain and suffering
A successful claim can also spark meaningful changes in our community that could improve the safety for others in Brooklyn so accidents like the one on Kent Avenue that killed Moshe Yide Weiner can be avoided in the future.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – After years of progress, the number of road collisions is on the rise again and if you believe in statistical trends, brace yourself for more crashes.
According to a statistical analysis from Allstate Canada, there’s been a slow but steady uptick in the number of claims. Last year, Allstate announced that it had identified a trend towards rising numbers of collisions and this year, the insurance company says its latest study demonstrates that the trend isn’t changing. In fact, the roads might be getting more dangerous.
A Buffalo car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says the statistics mirror those seen here in the United States – where motorists have experienced the biggest spike in traffic deaths in the last 50 years.
“Highway fatalities steadily declined over the last four decades because automakers have made significant safety improvements and motorists are using seat belts more often in Buffalo,” car accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “Unfortunately, dangerous crashes have jumped over 10-percent this year and distractions are usually a factor.”
Distracted driving is a relatively new concept to drivers in both the United States and Canada. Buffalo car accident attorneys say most drivers weren’t aware of distracted driving before 2005. Thanks to the smart phone, almost everyone who gets behind the wheel knows what distracted driving is – and most drivers admit they’re guilty of it.
What began as drivers taking calls or sending text messages is now a much bigger problem today: we can browse the internet, listen to music, use apps, get directions, and even watch videos on our phones from the driver’s seat. Most of this activity is illegal in the U.S. but at any given moment, over 600,000 drivers are using smartphones or other electronic devices while operating their vehicle, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates.
It’s easy to imagine how a distracted driver could cause a crash: failing to stop at an intersection, stopping short in traffic or not paying attention to their surroundings.
So, it’s not a coincidence that those types of crashes are also the most common accidents on the roads. According to Allstate Canada’s crash data, the most common claims involve:
Rear-end collisions (26%)
Intersection crashes (24%)
Accidents involving parked cars (13%)
The roads also get more dangerous as drivers get closer to the end of the work week.
Data suggests that Fridays are the most dangerous days of the week, accounting for 17-percent of all collision claims. Most of these claims involved:
Multi-vehicle crashes or chain-reaction accidents (19% of Friday claims)
Lange changes (18% of Friday claims)
Rear-end collisions (18% of Friday claims)
Intersection accidents (17% of Friday claims)
Head-on crashes (17% of Friday claims)
Buffalo car accident attorneys say the evidence suggests that drivers are not only more distracted than ever before; there’s also more traffic and even the most careful drivers must be defensive and on the look-out for others who could put their safety at risk.
I would like to thank your firm for representing our family on behalf of my late husband. This whole process was, at times, difficult for us and sometimes painful. But, we were always in good hands as Brian and Maria are two of the hardest working and sincerest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They did a tremendous job.